IEMS5710 Cryptography, Information Security and Privacy

Fall Semester, 2020 - 21


Instructor: Prof. WU Daoyuan

Email: dywu [AT]

Office Hour: 3:00pm - 4:00pm, Monday at SHB 814, or by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Mr. YI Xiao

Email: yx019 [AT]

Office Hour: 1:30pm - 2:30pm, Wednesday at SHB 826B, or by appointment

Class Time: 7:00pm - 10:00pm, Monday (see detailed dates in the schedule page)

Class Venue: Online teaching via Zoom (link available on the course Blackboard page)


  • Sep 1, 2020: The course website is online. Welcome to IEMS5710.

Course Description

This course aims to enhance students’ knowledge in cryptography as well as information security and privacy, in both theoretical and practical ways. The course introduces cryptography at an elementary level, enabling students to appreciate on its application to information security and privacy.

Daily applications of cryptography will be discussed, including digital certificate and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Virtual Private Network (VPN), wireless communication security, as well as security and privacy issues in online social networks.

This is the (pretty old) description from the university. In this semester, we aim to cover the major concepts of cryptography and network/web/software security and connect them with the real world.

Textbooks and Papers

In this course, we will use the following materials:

  • [Main textbook] Computer & Internet Security: A Hands-on Approach (Second Edition);

  • [Second book] Introduction to Modern Cryptography (By Mihir Bellare and Phillip Rogaway);

  • [Papers] We will also use some academic papers (e.g., from the CCS/IMC/AsiaCCS conferences);

  • [For reference/self-reading] Cryptography and Network Security: Principles and Practice (7th Edition).

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will:

  • Gain a comprehensive overview of cybersecurity;

  • Obtain essential knowledge about cryptography;

  • Understand protocols used to protect network security;

  • Have a basic understanding of web and software security;

  • Be able to design and finish a project related to security and privacy.

Learning Activities and Assessments

  1. Two written assignments 20%: one for cryptography and one for network security. Each takes 10%.

  2. Self-proposed group project 30%: 5-7 students form a group to work on a self-proposed project topic that is relevant to class contents and approved by the lecturer.
    Besides giving a presentation in class (a maximum of 30 minutes per group), each group needs to write a report with a minimum of 4 pages in the ACM format (see its templates).

  3. Final course examination 40%: Students need to attend the final examination (maybe online this year) at the end of the course.

  4. Attendance and Participation in class 10%.

Assessment Scheme

Method of Assessment Weight (%)
Two individual written assignments 10 + 10
Group project presentation, report, and code 10 + 10 + 10
Final course examination (open lecture notes) 40
Attendance and Participation 10